Tuesday, February 23, 2010

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Why Esther's fast?

Reminder, we're raising money for the poor of Israel for Purim! Check out our Video and donate here...

by Reb Nati at Mystical Paths

Esther's fast.

When we have Emunah in Hashem and Emunah in the Tzaddik and Faith in ourselves we have no need to fast (Liktey Moharan II, 86; Rabbi Nachaman's wisdom #140).

Let's for the sake of conversation just let go of this life this earthly life. Let's mentally leave behind all the earthly goals and take leave of the worldly aspirations and raise above all the transient temporal desires... all of them: riches, power, pleasures, prestige, all of this world we live in with all of it's t'aivah 'lusts' and enter a more permanent eternal, more meaningful existence. To a state of life where there is solitude, to a place where we can see the vanity of 'this normal life', to a vantage point from where we can see the total futility of the this world with it's social standards and it's peer pressures.

We rise to a perspective to where we can clearly see the futility and insanity of a Jewishness practiced only to attain empty vain goals of such a life. From this point, detracted from and unmoved by these earthly goals, from this eternal panorama we can focus on the the ultimate goal of the life, 'THE EMET'. And from here, undisturbed by the distraction of the transient vanity of this world, we can concentrate enough to yearn for and long for and come in touch with the deepest longing of our real selves... our souls desire, to cleave to Hashem, to be one with our source.

From here we can can see and feel the harmony of creation. With our souls we can sing in the celestial symphony. Our souls sing in unison, they sing their parts of the song to Hashem - the Master of all. At this point we can experience truly experience only Hashem. This is Joy. We can only stay here for a short while, in this ecstatic moment, experiencing a foretaste of the life eternal.

This is the goal that we each long for. And now as we begin to return from reality to this temporary experience that we call life in this earthly realm, we want to take all this that we have gained, the insights and all the feelings we have had, ingest them and let them enter deep into our souls so that when we return to our fleshly material selves we will remember what we saw and learned. Now back here in this reality that hides the truth, we promise ourselves that we will stay above these earthly goals - that we will stay awake and aware of the truth and focus on the ultimate goal of this existence in everything we do.

But most of us aren't ready to make this leap of faith. We are are distracted and overwhelmed by the colors, tastes and sounds of this earthly life that we identify so strongly with. This earthly life, we are unable to unplug. Without it, without a wider vision, we see no point in living. We feel earthly goals are all there is. To give them up is to be left with nothing. Yet this begs at us and asks, Who are we?... What is life?... where is Hashem? What is my part (if any) in this?

We can never answer these objective questions as long as we are blinded by the subjective needs. By those desires for riches... and pleasures.. power and prestige... these were all that Haman and Achashverosh had and longed for. He ruled over the whole world. They had it all, but what? They wanted more. They wanted what the Jews had too.

To answer our questions we need to set our sights on the ultimate goal. To be able to even catch a glimpse and set our sights towards the right level, we need the Tzaddik who can help us raise our perspective above the earthly goals.

We must connect and link to the the Tzaddik who has no subjective goals, who can answer our questions and guide us to the ultimate goal. We must follow and relate to his teachings, and allow a refocusing as it where. But to do this we must have faith in the tzaddik and in ourselves. We ourselves must take the first step of showing our desire, because by doing so Hashem sees that we seek the truth and He will guide us to the tzaddik. But until then, we are as blind to the tzaddik as we are of the ultimate goal (Likutey Halakhot, Hilchos shabbos 6:3).

And in the time of Haman, as is the case now, we had lost faith in the tzaddikim, we ignored Mordechai's plea not to attend the orgy. We had lost faith in ourselves that being that we could withstand temptation and raise above to the goal (Likutey Halakhot, Yibum 3:15).

So Esther decreed a fast. She enjoined us to make a vow (Rokeach, Esther). She told us to raise above the need to eat. She proclaimed a 3 day(!) fast. And making the vow to fast, we showed our desire to transcend the earthly needs. We showed faith in ourselves, that we could and would keep the fast. Hashem helped us to see that we really do not need all those "needs". And He brought us in touch with the Tzaddik, with Mordechai, who could then tell us the truth about ourselves.

Who are we? What is life? Where is Hashem?

At the Purim Banquet we can serve Hashem with feasting and drinking even more than we serve Him with fasting (Likutey Morharan I, 58:2-6 also Lm II, 86). Because the "ULTIMATE" GOAL IS EARTHLY SERVICE (at a G-dly level). BUT WE MUST FAST TO GET THERE. So every year on the eve of Purim, we keep Esther's fast.

This Thursday is Esther's fast. Have an easy fast, but a meaningful one.

Reminder, we're raising money for the poor of Israel for Purim! Check out our Video and donate here...

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